Explore Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley Fishing
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Contact Us About Us
Switch Mobile/Desktop

Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/02/2015

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Kentucky Dam - 359.61  Surface Temperature - 83

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.70  Surface Temperature - 83
Both lakes are one half foot over summer pool and rising.  Kentucky Dam was spilling water at an average rate of 85,000 cfs late this afternoon.  Barkley Dam was generating at an average rate of 18,200 cfs this afternoon.  
General Conditions:  The heat wave we had last week finally broke this week and we had some pleasant cooler days this week although we have had some locally heavy rains with some afternoon thunderstorms this week. 

The lakes have been over pool all week and we have had some heavy regional rains last night and today and also up river from the lakes causing the lakes to start rising again as well as the TVA has increased the discharge rates through the dams today providing the first current we have seen on the lakes in a while.  

Our ledge bite for the bass has been holding up but our numbers are still down from what one would expect but the good side is we are catching some nice quality fish.  The slower techniques continue to be the most productive for putting fish in the boat.  We did get back shallow a couple of mornings this past week to partake in the early morning topwater bite and had a lot of fun with some large numbers of fish although most of these were smaller fish, we did manage to put a few nice fish in the boat.  This fast action on topwater lures is a lot of fun and should not be over looked.  
The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 80/low of 66 with an 80% chance of more thunderstorms with wind W10.  Saturday's forecast is calling for a high of 80/low of 66 with a 40% chance of thunderstorms and post frontal winds light and variable at 4.  

Sunday is showing a high of 85/low of 68 with a 20% chance of rain and post frontal winds light and variable at 4.  The extended forecast through mid next week is for high's in the 80's/low's in the 70's with south winds and chances of thunderstorms each day.
This weekend is expected as per usual to be one of the busiest weekends of the season for boat traffic on the lakes.  Please exercise caution and be courteous to others on the lakes.  Have fun and celebrate our nation's independence but do so safely.  Let's get through this weekend with zero accidents and/or injuries.  Please take a few moments out of the weekend to remember the folks that gave their all and those still serving to keep us free.
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth are being taken ledges on the main lake and around the mouths of deeper creeks and bays. These fish are being taken on deep diving crank baits, Carolina rigged creature baits, dragging large football head jigs, Texas rigged large worms, shakey heads and drop shot rigs as well as large spoons and large swim baits. 

Largemouth are also being taken on primary points and channel banks of the main lake using the same techniques as mentioned above. Largemouth are also still being taken near brush and vegetation in the backs of the creeks and bays, especially early and late in the day where they are feeding on schools of spring fry. 

These fish are being taken on topwater lures, Texas rigged creature baits as well as spinner baits. During the late morning and afternoon hours, these shallow fish are relating to wood cover and we are catching them on Texas rigged creature baits. Largemouth are also being taken at night on main lake banks and points on dark skirted spinner baits.
Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth are being taken on rocky main lake primary points and secondary points in the front halves of the creeks and bays as well as on ledges. These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits, jigs, tube jigs and shakey heads. The summer night bite for these feisty fighters is on now and they are being taken on large dark skirted spinnerbaits on both gravel and rocky main lake points. 
Productive Lures: Some of the more productive lures reported this week are: Strike King XD10 in chartreuse sexy shad and blue/chartruese, Lucky Craft Sammy in ghost pearl lemon and Strike Splash baits in bone for the shallow topwater bite, Charmer Timber Pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple on Carolina rigs (deep) and Texas rigs (shallow), Charmer shakey head worms on drop shot rigs in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple as well as Robo worms in green pumpkin variations, Charmer 10.5 inch worms in plum and green pumpkin/purple on Texas rigs, Necessity football head jigs and D&L football head jigs in Oops and Cumberland Craw patterns, Slong's and Necessity shaky heads with Charmer shaky head worms in watermelon candy.
White Bass: White Bass are active with a number of schools of these fish surfacing early in the morning around the mouths of the creeks and bays. These fish are being taken by casting inline spinners into the feeding schools. So far most of these fish are smaller fish. 

Some larger Whites are now being taken by trolling inline spinners behind deep diving crank baits along channel ledges and vertically fishing inline spinners and small spoons over schools of deeper fish.  Numbers of White Bass are also schooling on shallow flats early in the morning in the backs of the creeks and bays feeding on schools of spring fry.  The White Bass activity is increasing. 
Catfish: Channel Catfish are being taken on creek channel ledges with cover on bottom rigs baited with night crawlers. Catfish are also being taken in the old river channels now in 20-30 ft of water on bottom rigs with cut baits and yellow tails during periods of current.

More Kentucky Lake Fishing Reports

Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Bison Herd
Photo by Libby Mundy

Visitors to the Elk and Bison Prairie in Land Between The Lakes can almost always catch a glimpse of some bison. They are most frequently seen early in the morning and in the late afternoon.